Charley Patton, vocal, guitar, bottleneck slide-guitar.
Includes performances by; Henry Sims, vocal, violin; Bertha Lee, vocal; Willie Brown, guitar.
Genres: Mississippi Country Blues, Delta Blues, Country Blues Guitar
Extensive, detailed booklet notes by Bob Groom.
Charlie Patton is considered, with some justification, to be the archetypal, Mississippi Delta blues singer / guitarist. His guitar playing, including his bottleneck slide guitar technique, coupled with his gritty vocal delivery created a mixture of some of the most primitive yet sublime recordings to be made in the pre-war blues era. Many of his recorded performances are so powerful as to be unsurpassed within the genre. Truly, Charley Patton was a man amongst men. Despite his small, physical, stature he had an overpowering presence when he performed, that embodied the very essence of the Mississippi blues. Equally, he can well be thought of as a songster, in view of his wide-ranging repertoire of blues, ballads, rags, spirituals and popular songs that he displays on his recordings which are presented on Document's three volumes of Charley Patton's recordings. Certainly, he was a showman and entertainer whose live performances could be somber, melancholy, intense or humorous. Yet he differs from his contemporaries like Mississippi John Hurt and Mance Lipscomb in that he used solid, earthy blues as a vehicle for an intensely personal musical expression. These three volumes present his complete issued recordings. All of his original 78 rpm records are extremely rare and in many cases there are only single known copies which are now the prized possessions of collectors.
Volume three features the last nine sides released on the Paramount label and twelve sides which Charley recorded for the American Record Company and released on the Vocalion label. Henry Simms is with him on five of the Paramount sides giving a string band feel to the performances whilst the great Mississippi guitarist and Robert Johnson's "friend" Willie Brown (Document DOCD-5002) gives his contribution most notably on Moon Going Down and Bird Nest Bound. Charley's common-law wife Bertha Lee is the lead vocalist on Yellow Bee and Mind Reader Blues and provides vocal support on the two religious titles Oh Death and Troubled 'Bout My Mother. This CD and the collection of all of Charley Patton's released recordings presented on Document, is rounded off with the reflective Poor Me createing a strange melancholy mood which is then, perhaps characteristically shrugged off by the ragtime dance tune Hang It On The Wall.
For more recordings by Willie Brown see: